Planning and organizing a county fair is a huge undertaking. Planning a fair during a national pandemic when an entire nation is shut down seems impossible, but Washington County Fair Director, Susi Lafaele and the fair committee were able to pull it off, seemingly without a hitch.
The COVID-19 restrictions in Washington County were eased just enough in July to allow the fair to occur on August 4th through the 8th. The fair committee was mindful of health and safety concerns and made every effort to take necessary precautions to insure a safe, educational, and fun event for fair goers. Sanitation and handwashing stations were located throughout Legacy Park. Entrances were all one-way and seniors were given dedicated hours to attend the fair. People feeling poorly were advised to stay home.
The fair began with the traditional parade. Prizes were awarded for best seasonal fruits and vegetables, as well as best crafts, quilts, and literary arts. 4-H members showed the livestock they had raised and pampered over the year and folks watched in amusement as contestants participated in the Sheep Shearing contest. Judging the baby contest was probably the most difficult, as there are lots of really cute kids in Washington County. Competitive cooks entered the home-made Salsa and Kid’s Cooking contests and cowboy and cowgirls aged 5 – 17 participated in the Jr. Rodeo. Everyone loves county fair food and this year was no exception. The carnival is always a big draw as is the final event – the Demolition Derby. The Washington County Fair ended with a firework display and a relieved committee.
Susi Lafaele and her team are to be commended for another outstanding county fair experience. With all the uncertainty surrounding the event, and last-minute changes and adjustment requirements, it seems they really did do the impossible. It is appropriate that an appreciative HVCC membership voted to honor the Washington County Fair and its committee as the September 2020 Business of the Month.